The Tolkien Road

A podcast about Middle-earth and all things Tolkien.

0216 – The Bombadil Enigma – An Interview with Keith Mathison

Who is Tom Bombadil? In all of the Middle-earth legendarium, there is no other figure as puzzling and strange. From his interactions with Old Man Willow to his relationship with the One Ring, Tom proves he is one of the most powerful beings in Middle-earth.  But where did he come from? And what is his significance for the larger story? Join us, as we explore the Bombadil Engima.

On this episode we are joined by Keith Mathison. Earlier this year, Keith published an article on his blog entitled “The Bombadil Enigma”. It’s a fascinating exploration of what we know about Tom Bombadil, and Keith’s theory on the meaning of Tom Bombadil is one we think you’ll find very interesting!

IMAGE: “Tom Bombadil: Ring A Dong Dillo” by Matthew Stewart. Used by permission.



Special thanks to the following patrons:

  • Shannon S
  • Brian O
  • Emilio P
  • Zeke F
  • James A
  • James L
  • Chris L
  • Chuck F
  • Asya V
  • Ish of the Hammer
  • Teresa C
  • David of Pints with Jack
  • Jonathan D
  • Eric S
  • Joey S
  • Eric B
  • Kaitlyn of Tea with Tolkien
  • Matt L
  • Johanna T
  • Ms. Anonymous
  • Sam N

One Response

  1. Tom’s Elvish name Oldest and Fatherless is sometimes misunderstood as literally meaning that he has no origin and no father. However, I have realized that this is hyperbole. As with Melchizedek, he is someone whose origins are unknown. This adds to the enigma. Jesus fulfills the saying of being the High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. This obscure king of the Old Testament was an enigma. No one kows anything about him (who his parents were).


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